Gentle giants


The Philippines is blessed with abundant marine biodiversity that includes various species of fishes and mollusk. The largest living bivalve mollusk in the world, or Tridacna gigas — also known as taklobo — can be found in our waters.

Giant clams have in fact put the Philippines in the record books as two of the world’s biggest pearls, the “Pearl of Allah,” weighing 6.395 kilograms and the “Palawan Princess” (2.27 kg.) are both produced by giant clams in our waters.

Philippine laws and regulations prohibit the collecting, theft, eating, sale and export of giant clams but illegal harvesting of these magnificent sea creatures continues.

On Saturday, authorities in Sagay City, Negros Occidental arrested three persons for possession and selling of giant clam shells. Recovered from the suspect were 177 shells weighing at least 1.5 tons, valued around P6 million.

According to the examination of the Protected Area Management Board of Sagay City, some of the giant clams have existed for over 50 years.

The giant clam has been historically misunderstood to be a “killer clam” and was feared to be able to clamp down on an unsuspecting diver. But scientific studies proved it is neither aggressive nor dangerous. It’s the people illegally harvesting them who are nasty and destructive.

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